Have luggage, will travel—but how to make the most of that precious space in your bags? Read on to um, unpack some solid tips from our advisors on how and what to pack to stay organized, efficient, fashionable, and comfy on your next trip!
Use a packing list app. Need help getting organized? Look no farther than your smartphone. The Pack Point app generates a packing list based on your destination, weather, and activities, and syncs with Evernote; it’s $2.99 on Google Play and Apple App Store.
Pack fewer items, create more outfits. Keep in mind that a simple wardrobe of 3 bottoms, 4 tops, and 2 outer layers can be accessorized to make as many as 24 different outfits. For example:
Take a few solid-color basics that can be re-worn (jeans, white pants in summer, a black pair always, a dress that can be dressed up or down) along with complimentary tops in various weights to layer (tees, blouses, a sweater, and a wrap).
-Caroline Wallace, Caroline Travels the World
Roll, don’t fold. To optimize room in your luggage and keep your clothes relatively wrinkle-free, try rolling your clothes rather than folding them. Not sure what “rolling” means? Check out this handy visual guide.
Packing cubes = organized genius. Often sold in sets, these rectangular zip-up compartments come in various sizes and designs, but all will allow you to keep like items together in your suitcase. Packing cubes can be clear, solid, waterproof, and/or lined with breathable mesh, and some are expandable, offer space-saving compression, or can even be monogrammed. Some of our advisors’ favorite brands are Eagle Creek, CALPAK, Away, OEE, REI, Gonex, and Paravel.
Streamline your shoe situation. To save space and weight in your luggage, pack fewer pairs of shoes. For footwear that’s functional, comfortable, and fashionable, our advisors swear by shoe brands like Allbirds, Born, Tieks, FitFlop, Superga, Rothys, Tom’s, Ecco, Olukai, and Vionic.
Tote an empty bag. Souvenirs happen, so consider bringing an extra bag that packs down to nothing in your suitcase, but expands to a full-size tote. Advisor favorites include the Baggu Travel Cloud Bag and the Tumi Just in Case. Here’s another idea to consider:
For long trips, I pack an extra bag in my outbound suitcase, and this then turns into my laundry basket throughout the stay. I check both bags on the return, allowing for purchasing of new souvenirs; then I drop the bag straight at the cleaners. This saves me time folding, repacking and having to sort laundry after I get home.
-Joshua Bush – CEO & Advisor, Avenue Two Travel
Pack an empty water bottle. This will save you both money and plastic waste while you travel, and if you choose the Que Collapsible Bottle, you’ll save space, as well. Be sure it’s empty when you go through airport security, fill it up once you’ve cleared TSA, and consider this:
If my clients are traveling internationally, I always suggest packing hydration/immune support powder packets! Long flights and adventure travel can really drain you, especially if you’re staying somewhere at high altitude.
– Annie Jones, Owner & Advisor – Telos Travel
Assemble your own in-flight kit. Sure, if you’re flying first or business, you’ll get the airline’s in-flight kit—but nothing compares to having the products and items you would choose. Your kit should fit in your carryon and the seat pocket in front of you, so consider using a medium-sized zip-loc bag, small packing cube, or bag from a previous in-flight kit. Fill it with things you’ll want close at hand, such as travel sizes of lotions, face mist, etc.; eye drops; lip balm; gum/mints; sleep aids; and (in their own protective cases) your earbuds and/or electronics chargers.
Leave room in your luggage to do some good:
Pack for a Purpose is a non-profit that enables you to use extra space in your luggage to provide supplies to the communities you visit. The organization’s affiliated programs aid education, health, animal and child welfare, and more.
– Renee Kipling Coon, Owner – Master Journeys